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Barefoot in the Park kicks off with gala

DULUTH -- The two-day festival doesn't start until Saturday, but Friday night, Barefoot in the Park kicks off the weekend with a gala titled "Carnevale" at the Duluth Town Green 7 p.m.

There will be live entertainment, food and -- of course -- art.

At the opening reception, sponsored by Global Wine Distributors, there will have a selection of craft beers and wines from California, Chile and Argentina for guests to taste.

During the gala, there is a silent auction with prizes ranging from event tickets to one-of-a-kind works of art. Plus, there will be performances by Dance Truck, a dancing group from Atlanta, accompanied by the music of Duluth's Zephyr Instrumental, an orchestra composed of local musicians.

"The inclusion of 'Dance Truck' is an exciting element in the artistic mix that makes Barefoot such a special event," Barefoot's Director Caryn McGarity said in a press release. "This young performing group has been exciting audiences all over Atlanta and the Southeast and we know our Gwinnett patrons will enjoy them, too. Maybe we will all leave the party doing the 'Barefoot Dance.'"

After the dancers leave the spotlight, the night continues with a runway fashion show presented by the Gwinnett County Public Library with the theme "Pulp Fashion II." All of the outfits were created from altering books, magazines and newspapers and transformed into garments.

The food available during the event includes dishes from Mirko Pasta, Purple Rain, Pure, Park Cafe, Proof of the Pudding and Cafe Acadienne.

The gala ends at 10 p.m.

The event runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

IF YOU GO

• What: Barefoot in the Park

• When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

• Where: Duluth Town Green, 3142 Hill St., Duluth

• Cost: Free admission

• For more information: Visit www.barefootinthepark.org